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Old 06-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #21
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Like Ron said. Before going into exotic problems verify the vent is clear.
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:11 PM   #22
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I suggested after making sure the vent is clear using boiling water into the holding tank. Boiling water will help dissolve or dislodge sludge build up.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:59 PM   #23
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I suggested after making sure the vent is clear using boiling water into the holding tank. Boiling water will help dissolve or dislodge sludge build up.
Bill
Sounds like it needs an enzyme treatment.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:01 PM   #24
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Sounds like it needs an enzyme treatment.
I also suggested using OdorLos that product has worked great for me over the years.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:02 AM   #25
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Lightbulb Thanks for the great ideas!

Thanks again! We're heading home today. It will be good to see our pets and family. Can't wait to get back to the garden, either. It's going to be pretty weedy.
We managed to pump out some, yesterday. Hubby has to push down pretty hard to get good suction. This pump out was after going outside for a few hours when returning to our home port. Maybe it loosened some stuff up. We had to cut the pump out short because of lightning. My hubby tells me the vent is clear. We will run by the local West Marine and buy an enzyme product before we leave. Maybe when we get back things will be better. If the enzyme doesn't help, we'll think more when we return. He's also going to buy one of the adapters suggested, if they have one, otherwise, we'll order one. Happy cruising to all! Patsy
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:27 AM   #26
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Many many years ago when I was a real rookie I thought I had a clogged vent. No problem, disconnect the deck vent fitting and blow into it...It wasn't clogged as I quickly found out.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:30 AM   #27
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I've used this from an RV website
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USE WATER SOFTENER, DETERGENT, and CHLORINE BLEACH
This stuff is amazing and it works. Buy a couple of boxes of powdered water softener at the grocery store. You'll find it located with or near the laundry detergent products. I prefer Calgon Water Softener because it dissolves quickly in water. Cheaper water softeners work just as well but dissolve more slowly. Dissolve two (2) cups of the water softener in a gallon of hot water. Then, pour the solution down the drain into the empty tank. Use two cups of softener for each wastewater tank in your RV. The tank's drain valve should be closed otherwise the softened water will just drain out. Then use the tank(s) normally until it is full and drain it normally. Add a cup of laundry detergent to the black (commode) water tank at the same time you add water softener. This will help clean the tank. The gray water tanks should already contain soap through normal use. Water softener makes the solid waste let go from the sides of the tanks. If you've ever taken a shower in softened water you know that after rinsing the soap from your body your skin will feel slick. That's because all the soap rinses away with soft water. Softened water also prevents soap scum from sticking in the tub. Get the connection? With softened water gunk washes away instead of sticking. The same thing applies to your RV's wastewater tanks.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:02 AM   #28
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I guess the RV methods good for cleaning a sludged up tank but it's terrible for those of us that have the proper enzyme's that keep us Odorloss. Bleach pretty much kills all bacteria and enzymes good and bad. It might take a few tanks of waste and water to get the tank back in balance. Boats unlike RV's have their waste tanks pretty much located inside the vessel an RV the tanks are external to the living quarters.
Something to think about?
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:52 PM   #29
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Bill,
Yes, It was a one time shot for me when I purchased the boat. I'm a big fan of Oderloss
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:51 PM   #30
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I can "second" the Noflex Digester (we got it from Marine Sanitation in Seattle). We used it originally (3 years ago) to dissolve the 2" layer of solid sludge in the bottom of the tank and have used it ever since to keep the tank clean and odor free. I am sold on it.

Marty...................

P.S. I do realize that was not the original issue, I think the vent is the most likely culprit but that if just a "first guess".
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:22 PM   #31
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Bill is correct. Bleach (why does everybody think bleach cures everything?) and other chemicals keep the biological products from working.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:08 PM   #32
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I've started using Unique Digest-it after reading a cruisers blog about their luck with it. Turns everything to liquid in the system and will clean the tank of accumulated solids. I had the overboard discharge line plugged after the y valve, found it the 1st year I had my boat when I was winterizing the system. I read about unique cleaning a tank half full of solids in 2 pump outs so I thought I'ld give it a try. Switched the y to overboard added the product with warm water to each head and let it sit overnight next morning they both had drained down a little. Pushed the button and pumped out the head, then checked the guest head and the level was still the same before it would just push it into the other head and never discharge anything.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:30 PM   #33
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Bleach also damages Aluminum tanks.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:40 PM   #34
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Bleach also starts a chemical reaction in a stainless tank and will result in pinholes in about 4-5 years, even in small amounts! Chlorine is a very strong chemical and should never be used in ss or aluminum tanks.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:52 PM   #35
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Bleach also starts a chemical reaction in a stainless tank and will result in pinholes in about 4-5 years, even in small amounts! Chlorine is a very strong chemical and should never be used in ss or aluminum tanks.
Isn't there chlorine in most water that we use to fill our aluminum tanks?
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:15 AM   #36
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Isn't there chlorine in most water that we use to fill our aluminum tanks?
That's exactly why I use a carbon filter when filling my watertanks. I also use the carbon filter because Chlorine will kill my water makers membranes when it's in the rinse backflush mode. I had all Poly tanks on my last vessel. With the new vessel the water tank is FRP but I'm installing the water maker in the Gulfstar so it can't tolerate Chlorine. I know we are talking about holding tanks that's why I mentioned the negatives when it comes to using Chlorine in Aluminum. Steel tanks will suffer the same damage. It's a chemical that should be used very sparingly if at all in any boat's systems in my opinion.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:05 AM   #37
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Isn't there chlorine in most water that we use to fill our aluminum tanks?
Yes, but don't worry about it, there isn't very much. Chlorine in city/dock water, is only there to protect the water during transport from the treatment facility to the home. It gases off in 7-10 days.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:02 PM   #38
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That's exactly why I use a carbon filter when filling my watertanks. I also use the carbon filter because Chlorine will kill my water makers membranes when it's in the rinse backflush mode. I had all Poly tanks on my last vessel. With the new vessel the water tank is FRP but I'm installing the water maker in the Gulfstar so it can't tolerate Chlorine. I know we are talking about holding tanks that's why I mentioned the negatives when it comes to using Chlorine in Aluminum. Steel tanks will suffer the same damage. It's a chemical that should be used very sparingly if at all in any boat's systems in my opinion.
Bill
Bill

The only location aboard I pour liquid laundry bleach is into our twin 38.5 gallon plastic fresh water tanks (strange volume - huh??). About 2 cups per tank every third to fourth fill. We never fully drain them so I guess there is residual build up... but with 3 to 4 fills before adding more it should be well diluted. Our tap water looks sparkling clean and smells good. You see any drawback to my bleach regime? We do not drink from the tap or cook with it. I do however rinse my mouth with it after brushing... then I swish 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and mouth wash for 30 seconds! But, that's something I've done for decades after every brushing.

Happy Fresh Boat Daze! - Art

PS: Back to OP's pump out topic... If the vent to black water is clear then unless there is problem with evac pipe from tank to deck fitting pump outs should go fine as long as good seal occurs at the deck fitting. If tank's 1/2 full of sludge there are plenty of suggestions in posts to this thread
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:10 PM   #39
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Pump-out question

Two tips that we got which we have used is when pumping out run a fresh water hose on low so that the water runs around the fitting and it helps seal the fitting from air leaking which allows the pump to pull out much more efficiently.

Our pull is 8 + vertical feet and this helps! now we are in fresh water and in a no discharge zone we have to rely on the holding tank due to not being able to use our Electric Scan which we prefer and love .

The second tip is to pour beer down into the holding tank preferably with it almost at empty and the yeast will eat away at the stubborn solids.

I know this tip is hard to do especially for a Kiwi like me who could be disowned by my countrymen for pouring good beer down the head.

Good luck
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:31 PM   #40
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That's exactly why I use a carbon filter when filling my watertanks. I also use the carbon filter because Chlorine will kill my water makers membranes when it's in the rinse backflush mode.
Bill
You need to install a carbon filter for the fresh flush line that feeds the water maker when you flush it.
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